We haven't heard much of anything about the Barbie movie since this past March, when it was confirmed that Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody is writing the screenplay. Well, it sounds as though she almost has the script done. Producer Laurie MacDonald confirmed to THR that Diablo Cody's work will be arriving shortly. About the tone and themes presented in the movie, MacDonald was asked if the film is something that will be embraced by feminists. This was her response.
"When she was created, a young girl's only choice was playing with a baby doll - what more says your only reason to be is to be a mother and take care of a baby? Barbie was independent. She was more feminist than we would think. Barbie can have 10 careers. So is that bad? We get Diablo Cody's script in two or three weeks, and we'll go from there."
There has been a strong outcry from audiences and filmmakers alike across gender divides, demanding more female participation in every aspect of the filmmaking process. Both in front of and behind the scenes. Studios like Marvel, Disney, DC, Sony and Warner Bros. are all attempting to make an effort in some way or another to change the landscape for the better. Sony has the all-female Ghostbusters coming next summer, and they are attempting to lock down a female director for their Tomb Raider reboot. DC has a female director in place for Wonder Woman, and Marvel and Disney are seeking out a female director for Captain Marvel after having already offered Selma director Ava DuVernay the Black Panther gig. She passed.
At this time, Barbie does not have a director attached. And it isn't known if Sony is solely seeking female talent for the job. The movie, first announced in April 2014, will be live-action. Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce alongside former Sony executive Amy Pascal. Jenny Bicks was originally tasked with writing the script.
Diablo Cody may seem like an odd choice to tell Barbie's story, since she famously rose from working as a stripper to winning an Oscar for her Juno screenplay 10 years ago. Producer Walter F. Parkes revealed that the writer's "unconventionality" is why they chose her. Here's what he had to say in a statement to Deadline earlier this year.
"Diablo's unconventionality is just what Barbie needs. It signals we're going for a legitimately contemporary tone. We're bringing her on because she had great ideas, but even more importantly, she truly loves Barbie."
Julia Pistor is executive producing for Mattel's Playground Productions. Our report from April 2014 revealed that the story will center on Barbie using her personal and professional skills to help others, but it isn't known if this story approach will still be used with Diablo Cody now on board. That report also stated that Sony plans on casting young stars as Barbie and Ken, while putting A-list stars around them in supporting roles.
Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald aren't just working on setting Barbie up as a franchise. They are also completely rebooting Men in Black as a new trilogy. It will not involve Will Smith. No other details about either movie have been revealed at this time.